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Watch out for this scam from a fake buyer (probably using someone else’s identity) on Facebook Marketplace. We had a large item for sale and received an offer saying that the item would be collected the next day and the driver would pay cash (I should have smelled a rat then, because you only usually pay in cash if you are collecting it yourself). However, I agreed, but then it got more complicated – UPS would be collecting the item (sounds fine) and would send me an email (by this time the scammer had my email, mobile and address). Then came the catch, I needed to pay £83 insurance on a recharge card purchased from recharge.com.
Then I looked at the email address – not UPS at all but gmail. (Big rat!)
When you are an honest person, it’s very hard to believe that someone will try to get money off you like this, you want to believe them, and you feel guilty going back and saying that you don’t want to go ahead. So, I asked for more information – and his phone number. He said he had a hearing impediment so could only message me. When I didn’t reply, he tried to pressurize me, saying he had already paid for the delivery and he would lose money.
When I didn’t reply again, he then threatened legal action if I didn’t go ahead.
“Listen UPS informs me that it is impossible to cancer that a lawsuit may be initiated against you so I kindly ask you to do what is necessary to finalize this transaction in the best conditions”
From being delighted in getting a sale, I then felt very let down, ashamed that I hadn’t been suspicious to start with, and that I hadn’t spotted the gmail email address, angry that I had given away personal information. And disappointed that I didn’t really have a sale.
What to do if someone offers to collect something via ‘UPS’ and wants you to pay insurance?
Click on the message from the buyer, then on ‘more options’ then ‘report buyer’ as a ‘scam’ and then ‘block’.
Sign up here for Which? Scam alerts direct to your inbox:
Find details of recent scams here: www.actionfraud.police.uk and on our Facebook page:
Rainford-it-stay safe online
Published in the March edition of the Whitchurch Gossip